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Hong Kong-China tensions set for soccer showcase

  • Author:naky
  • Source:www.diecastingpartsupplier.com
  • Release on :2015-11-19
After rows over everything from post boxes to the electoral system, simmering tensions between Hong Kong and China move to the football pitch on Tuesday night as their respective teams clash in the most eagerly awaited fixture here for decades.

Hong Kong has called up 1,200 police officers to maintain order as the rivals face off in a tense World Cup qualifying game where there will be much more than points at stake.
Tickets for the match at the tiny, 6,000-capacity Mong Kok stadium sold out within hours after the Hong Kong football association failed to secure access to the city’s main sporting venue.

Long ignored by Hongkongers because of its poor record, the Hong Kong team has enjoyed a resurgence of interest this year as the city’s young residents used their support to demonstrate their separateness from mainland China.
“The Hong Kong-China conflict definitely plays as a factor in the game,” said Bob Wu, a 34-year-old fan who recently travelled to the Maldives to support Hong Kong in another qualifier. “Football is always related to politics, especially when the mainland is encroaching on our society.”

“The Hong Kong-China conflict definitely plays as a factor in the game,” said Bob Wu, a 34-year-old fan who recently travelled to the Maldives to support Hong Kong in another qualifier. “Football is always related to politics, especially when the mainland is encroaching on our society.”
During previous World Cup qualifiers, Hong Kong’s fans booed their official national anthem — China’s “March of the Volunteers” — leading to a $5,000 fine from Fifa, the sport’s governing body.

“Hong Kong is part of China but Hong Kong people had little say when the city was handed over to China,” said Joel Yu, a 23-year-old Hong Kong fan who works at a university. “Now it’s unreasonable to play China’s national anthem when our team is playing. That is not our song.”
“I don’t think the matches have to link with political issues necessarily,” said Mercury Cheng, a 23-year-old who works at a television station. “We are only supporting our own people.”

The two teams drew 0-0 in a qualifying match in Shenzhen in September but China remain the favourites to win on Tuesday, ranked 84th in the world compared with 145th-placed Hong Kong.